Captain Phillips (2013)

July 9, 2016

"Everything is going to be OK."

That's a saying in the movie Captain Phillips that is oft repeated. But, it is clear that nothing is OK and there is a point where nothing will ever be OK.

The film follows Captain Phillips, his crew, and a band of Somali pirates. The pirates are looking for a big payday by taking a cargo ship hostage. It may sound like a simple story, but what a story it is. It was fantastic to see the way that pirates try to take a cargo ship. The way that cargo ship's crew try to fend off the pirates without weapons. And in the end portion of the film, it was jaw dropping to see the might of the American military at work. The use of US warships and equipment was eye opening and unlike a Michael Bay film, it is filmed with an eye towards showing what the US military really does instead of being filmed as a propaganda piece. One thing is for sure: Don't mess with the American military, whether that was a message the filmmakers intended to send, I wouldn't know, but it was definitely projected by the film.

Paul Greengrass was lucky to get Tom Hanks in the lead role. This is one of Hanks's strongest performance. The end scene works only because of Hanks's performance. The film starts off quiet, but Greengrass and writer Billy Ray ratchet up the tension quickly and the tension never stops building until the inevitable end. While I have issues with Greengrass and his cinematographer, Barry Ackroyd's use of shaky-cam, it works for the most part. Greengrass definitely has his own style of shooting a film and it shows from his work here and in his other films. I am not that big of a fan of his style, but for the types of films he makes, it works -- though could be better.

I can't say enough about Tom Hanks's performance. But, there was also Barkhad Abdi who stars as the strong willed and tough as nails pirate who leads the raid on the cargo ship. It was also good to see Max Martini turn in as a SEAL commander, though he seems to be typecast as a "tough military man".

I really enjoyed the film and highly recommend it.


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